Car-Free Sunday returned for its third edition on Sunday at the Central Business District as roads were shut down for the morning so people could take to the streets in their bicycles and personal mobility devices.
Right on the heels of the government’s acceptance of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel’s recommendations that bicycles and personal mobility devices be allowed on footpaths, the Safe Riders Campaign was also launched yesterday.
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim (third from left), Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong (third from right) and Parliamentary Secretary Faishal Ibrahim (second from right) reciting the Safe Riders Pledge during Car Free Sunday. Photo: Sport Singapore
Members of the public joined Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, Minister for Communication and Information Yaacob Ibrahim and Parliamentary Secretary Faishal Ibrahim in reciting the Safe Riders Pledge committing to safe riding.
"We hope we will be able to practise all these safe riding habits and internalise them and, over time, these norms and code of conduct will become second nature," Dr Faishal said at the National Gallery.
Along with the launch of the Safe Riders Campaign, a whole slew of sporting activities were also organised to cater to people of all age groups and interests.
Besides the more common sports such as basketball and football, novel and unusual sports such as speedminton and tchoukball also had booths which introduced members of the public to the sports.
Speedminton is a combination of badminton, tennis and squash that originates from Germany. It uses a speeder that looks like badminton’s shuttle cock. The racket comes from the squash racket, and the court size is similar to that of a tennis court.
A child trying his hand at speedminton. Photo: Sport Singapore
“The best thing is that you can actually play it anywhere, anytime. Whether you are at the park, or on a hard court, or any open space you can set up the court and off you go, you can start playing speedminton,” said Speedminton Singapore manager Donald Koh.
“You are not constrained to playing indoors, and if you find it difficult to book a badminton court in Singapore, that’s where we use speedminton as an alternative to racket sports. There is no net in between, so you can just play in any open space.”
“You can even play in the night time, we have a night speeder that will glow at night.”
For tchoukball, elements of squash were also incorporated, along with the game of handball.
“It is a typical hand ball game, where it involves two frames as the goal post. The way to score it is to hit the ball against the net, and if the opponent is not able to catch the ball in the playing zone, you score a point,” said Tchoukball Association of Singapore President Muhammad Rezal.
Tchoukball makes a maiden appearance at Car Free Sunday. Photo: Sport Singapore
It was created in the 1970s by a Swiss biologist who wanted to reduce sport injuries. As compared to the football or basketball, where physical contact is very much a part of the game, tchoukball allows for no contact or interceptions, and in so doing, it reduces the risk of injuries to sportsmen.
Rezal said: “The interesting thing about this game is that there are no interceptions. You allow the opponent to execute the best that they can from what they have trained.”